12 cases of the new COVID-19 variant, christened IHU was reported near Marseilles in France and scientists have linked it to travel to Cameroon in Africa. While the WHO has yet not labelled it as a variant under investigation, the IHU variant was discovered by academics at IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute.
As per the research scientists the variant contains 46 mutations, far more than Omicron. This makes it more resistant to vaccines and hence more infectious. Check a snapshot of a paper posted on medRixiv.
Epidemoliogist Eric Feigl-Ding said on his Twitter handle that it does not mean that each new variant will be more dangerous, but what makes a variant dangerous is its ability to multiply because of the number of mutations it has, in relation to the original virus. This, he said is when the variant becomes a VoC (Variant of Concern). He added that it remains to be seen in which category this new variant will fall as till now, the Omicron variant is more contagious and more past immunity evasive.
5) But we have seen this rodeo before… just before Thanksgiving we saw the emergence of #Omicron (aka #B11529) that suddenly took over southern African. But some argue Omicron is so fast that it’s hard to displace w/ new variant — 12 #B16402 cases is a cluster but have to see… https://t.co/jbLDPmUTuP— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) January 3, 2022
The Omicron variant, discovered in a sample taken at South Africa in November 2021 continues to be dominant across 100 countries, but the IHU variant (B.1.64.2) threat is reported to be continuously on the rise. As per latest updates nearly 1950 cases of Omicron has been reported in India, with Maharashtra (578), Delhi (382), Kerala (185), Rajasthan (174) and Gujarat (152) reporting the highest cases of Omicron. With 414 COVID-19 cases reported in just Jaipur on 3 January, out of 550 cases in Rajasthan, the situation demands quick control on protocol and administrative interference.